Ahhh yes, the NFL Playoffs otherwise know as the greatest time of the year are under way and in the divisional round this weekend, we get such classic storylines as offensive vs. defense, good vs. evil, smallest market vs. biggest market, and T.J. Yates vs. Joey Flacco. For this weeks picks I have Jake Greene of TheJakeGreene.com as guest. We disagree on three out of four games, but no one watches First Take to see people agree.
Saints @ 49ers (+4)
Jake: The most dangerous offense in the NFL meets up with what was possibly the strongest defense this year. In the end, Brees and Sproles run up and down the field, and the blitz-happy New Orleans defense makes Alex Smith look again like the bust he was once assumed to be.
Pick: New Orleans
Lucas: If we’re going to see a knock out defensive performance in these playoffs, then this is the game where we’ll expect to find it. The Saints are gonna be in trouble against an opportunistic defense like the 49ers. SF is second in the league in interceptions and Drew Brees will provide plenty of opportunity for the 49ers defense to make plays. My only concern is whether or not Jim Harbaugh will let loose Alex Smith and the 49ers passing game to push the ball downfield into the end zone. Settling for field goals will not get in done.
Pick: San Francisco
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Broncos @ Patriots (-14)
Jake: SNL was right in their skit a few weeks ago, God enjoys some Tebow on Sunday, but he loves Gisele’s husband. The way the Patriots ended Tebowmania in Week 15 was no fluke, and this time Foxboro is the setting. Patriots cruise and cover the spread.
Pick: New England
Lucas: Does Jesus and the Denver Broncos really stand a chance against the Patriots in Foxboro? The answer to that is a squeaky clean “Heck Yeah”. If Tebow can throw the ball like he did against the number one pass defense of the Steelers, you have to like his chances against the 30th ranked pass defense. Now granted I doubt New England’s going to rush 9 and drop 2 into coverage like Pittsburgh did providing such wide open receivers for Tebow, but Denver’s throwback running game is gonna create some opportunities for some big plays down field with the play acton. Can they score 30+ though? This game is gonna be much closer than Vegas thinks..
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Texans @ Ravens (-9)
Jake: This is the weekend that Bun B changes his Twitter picture and the Texans’ magic runs out. Away from home and against a team that locked up the 2 seed despite periods of strong inconsistency, T.J. Yates will cave to the Ravens’ pressure and a young Texans’ D will watch Ray Rice pick up yards in bunches.
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Giants @ Packers (-9)
Jake: I may be one of the few outside of the bureaus who believe the Giants have a chance, but hear me out. Packers defense is about as scary as a Drake death threat, and the Giants offense is rolling, both on the ground and through the air. On the other side of the ball, the Giants are getting healthy at just the right time to put some pressure on Rodgers. While they came close to the upset in week 13, this time Eli Manning is poised to lead a big drive, as the Giants bust the spread and come dangerously close to knocking off the defending champs. Pick: New York
Lucas: I have to disqualify myself from this pick being that I’m a diehard Packers fan and it’s never good to gamble with your heart. My opinion here is seriously biased so take it for what it’s worth. Green Bay is going to win this game. I know people trying to draw parallels to when the Giants almost beat the Patriots and then went on to beat them in the Super Bowl…but history is just that: history. Don’t read too much into the week 13 game between these two teams. Green Bay had a patchwork offensive and defensive line when they played last and they are all healthy now. The Giants are now going pretty deep on the depth chart on their secondary and no starting unit can cover the Packers receiving corp much less a borderline practice squad unit. The Packers are gonna give up some passing yards but they’re also gonna get two picks which is two more possessions for Aaron Rodgers. Discount Double Check Blue Light Special.
Pick: The World’s Greatest Team Ever…The Green Bay Packers
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